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Written by Max January 14, 2019
One of the most clichéd complaints about growing up is how we’ve all got to make our own doctor’s appointments. This complaint is no less true at Ohio State. Unless you maintain an extremely healthy lifestyle, you will get sick during your four years here. I’ve only been here one semester, and I’ve already been through a stomach virus. Naturally, I asked the older students for advice on what to do and where to go in such situations, and their responses were more or less the same: Go to the Wilce Student Health Center.
A front view of the Wilce Student Health Center. Photo Credit: ohiounionphotos.org
Located on 1875 Millikin Road (right across from Thompson Library), the Wilce Student Health Center is the average student’s go-to place for medical problems. Based on my visit there, I can tell you that you should:
Check your medical coverage beforehand. You are not immediately covered by OSU’s medical services the second you become a student. This is kind of an important thing to remember, so make sure that you are either registered with MyBuckMD or are covered on your parent’s / guardian’s insurance policy before you find yourself at the Wilce.
Bring your BuckID. Any state-sanctioned ID (i.e. your driver’s license) will do when you’re initially scheduling an appointment, but they will also ask you for your student ID number later in the process.
Always try and get and a sick note from the doctor. Not every trip to the doctor’s office will get you a sick note, but you should still try and ask each time. Even if you managed to contact your professors beforehand to catch them up, and even if they give you permission to skip class, they might forget doing so when they grade your attendance (which, given that they regularly handle thousands of students, really isn’t that unlikely). If or when this happens, you will need proper documentation to make your case.
Understand that gaining an excuse from class is all on you. Building off the previous tidbit, the Wilce Student Health Center does provide sick notes (known at OSU as the Absence Excuse Form), but it does not provide excuse notes. It lets the professor know that you had an actual, verifiable reason to not attend class that day, but it still may not excuse you entirely. Most professors are quite reasonable when you explain your situation to them, but that doesn’t change the fact that the burden of proving you should not be docked points on missed attendance falls on you.
When you’re sick, getting there takes priority over making an appointment beforehand. My stomach virus was bad, but it wasn’t urgent, so I decided to do some research on the Wilce before actually going there. When I saw that they would only accept people who had made appointments (which I hadn’t done), I seriously considered putting off my visit. I decided to go anyways, and the people working there let me do what I’ll call a “walk-in appointment (my words, not theirs);” I still had to make an appointment to actually see someone, but they allowed me to come into the health center and make the appointment from there. Making an appointment beforehand definitely makes their lives easier, but if you’re in a situation where you need medical help right now, I’m sure they’d understand if you came in unannounced.
My first self-appointed visit to the doctor went as well as could be expected. As mentioned previously, I came in unannounced, but was still able to make an appointment. The staff there were incredibly patient as I filled out the proper forms and texted my parents when I inevitably came across medical questions I couldn’t answer. After a relatively short wait, a nurse came and put me through all the normal doctor’s office things – measuring my weight and height, shining lights in my ears, that kind of stuff.
Afterwards, the doctor came, and we had a talk about my virus. After hearing my symptoms, he suggested several medications based on cost and effectiveness, from which I was allowed to choose. After that, I was told where I could pick up my sick note (the front desk had some copies, but you can also fill them out here) and my prescription (the Pharmacy on the ground floor). I followed the doctor’s orders and got better within the week. All in all, making my own doctor’s appointments no longer seems so intimidating.
Advice, Campus Life, Personal, Stress, Stress Relief, Student Life
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